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As usual poor reporting and misleading statements completely obscure the real issue. The problems with the company in question had nothing to do with failures of components but with paperwork required by the feds. In reality it looks like a disgruntled employee looking for revenge. As to the real problem with failures in the field the issue is actually more related to design flaws and worn out guns. Maybe the investigation will clear things up and most likely no one will ever know because that doesn't make headlines.

Ricky, you are quick to condemn when you know nothing about the truth or the real situation. In your 5000+ posts I've never seen a single helpful or insightful comment but normally you don't make comments of this sort. I have no problems with your "go team" or "thats neat" comments as everyone contributes as they can but joining a witchhunt with no more than one flawed article isn't very good.

Sorry if I sound a bit negative here but yellow journalism helps no one and we shouldn't be helping them.

Frank
 

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Parts that are not to speck are found, not often but more often than I'd like. Me and my guys come across them on occasion and are quick to QDR them. It costs the company alot of money when we do. Normaly it isn't a big thing as many many companies are contracted to make parts. I could go on about this topic but in the case of the actual story which this post is about,,, amafrank nailed it.
 

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SARETRob is right, I work for DoD and we do work for other DoD installations, when they file a QDR on our work, it costs us alot of time and money not just to fix the problem, but in paperwork to explain what happened and to devise a plan to prevent the deficiancy from happening again. It is far, far cheaper and faster to do it the right way then it is to cut corners when dealing with DoD contracting.
 

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As usual poor reporting and misleading statements completely obscure the real issue. The problems with the company in question had nothing to do with failures of components but with paperwork required by the feds.... As to the real problem with failures in the field the issue is actually more related to design flaws and worn out guns....
Interesting... Frank please tell more. For us without insight its hard to see whats going on. Why does the paperwork cause these problems? Not knowing much about the M249 and M240, what are the design flaws? Also why are the guns worn out (besides the obvious because they have been shot a lot!)? Are they just not being replaced or old or what?
 

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Interesting... Frank please tell more. For us without insight its hard to see whats going on. Why does the paperwork cause these problems? Not knowing much about the M249 and M240, what are the design flaws? Also why are the guns worn out (besides the obvious because they have been shot a lot!)? Are they just not being replaced or old or what?
Without going into a dissertation on how real life govt contracts work we'll just hit some of the high points. When you build something for the govt they require you have certifications for all the material and parts that go into the construction of the item you're building. This means you need to have certifications from the mill that made the steel showing the makeup of the steel in great detail along with test data from that particular batch (heat), any subsequent work needs to have certs as well to show heat treat, finishes, machining etc. All of these certs go into a pile which travel along with the parts into the assemblies and on to the final inspection and acceptance where the govt gets a pile of paper (or data chips) and your company keeps a copy of the same. Its possible to find material that will meet the specs required and probable work as well if not better than the same stuff with all the certs but the cost is usually a lot less because there is less paper and testing involved. Because of this some contractors will cheat the paperwork end and either cut the overall cost or add to their profit. For some parts it makes no difference as its possible that donuts would be strong enough to do the job. For other jobs its pretty critical that the exact material called for be used as wear, durability or other requirements will not be met. Sometimes its hard to say which is which. In the case of the company in question it was my understanding that there were never any parts failures. The issues was that the company either didn't file the paperwork to go along with the parts or they falsified the documents.

As for the wear issues, the main cause for failures in the field have not been related to badly made parts but to worn or damaged parts. They are worn from use and either not replaced or they are damaged for reasons unknown and fail prior to being found or replaced. A simple example might be: Sgt Smith gets tossed off the top of the HumVee by an IED and lands on top of his M240 breaking a feed pawl. He tries to return fire and finds that the weapon will not feed. Thats a failure due to damage. Example 2: Sgt Jones is on day 3 of a mission where a lot of fighting has been going on. His M249 was well used when he got it and he's used it some more. His fire team gets into a fight and the ejector pin fails on the ejector causing a stoppage which can't readily be fixed in the field. The problem is inherent in the design of the 249 and requires the pin to be replaced when worn and may require the rail to be bushed to prevent excess sideplay of the pin.
Example 3 : Pvt moore is firing his M249 over a parapet in heavy street fighting. The barrel is overheating and he cocks the bolt as required then removes the overheated barrel. The bolt carrier/sear slips with the barrel removed allowing the carrier to go forward with no barrel in place. The carrier hits the end of its travel launching the bolt out the front of the receiver and over the parapet which is 20 feet off the ground. The pvt quickly pulls his spare bolt out and installs it along with the new barrel getting back into the fight (we hope). This is another problem inherent in the 249 and not in most other LMG's.
The point of all this is that the paperwork issues are not whats causing the problems with our boys over there. Its not a good thing by any means but its also not the issue brought out by the idiots at the indy star or the first posters here.
Hope that clarifies somewhat.
Frank
 

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Don't know anything about the situation, but after many years in defense and aerospace work, I can assert that amafrank's discussion shows a lot of understanding of the business, and it would require a lot of hard evidence to debate his discussion of the facts. It;s always a pleasure to hear someone discuss military procurement rationally.

Thanks
 

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Don't have a dog in this fight but maybe 20 years ago I saw some congressional hearings (probably CSPAN) where DOD was testifying in regard to some substandard fasteners that had been furnished from a source overseas. The bolts or capscrews were large ones apparently used to hold the main gun assembly together. At any rate the DOD witness used a phrase which stuck with me. she siad under test firing with the faulty fasteners the main gun (i think it was in a tank) "spontaneously disassembled".

i imagine that was pretty interesting!

Regards,

Jim
 
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